New Zealand's annual food prices see smallest increase

2024-06-14 11:51

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WELLINGTON, June 14 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's food prices increased 0.2 percent in the 12 months to May 2024, the smallest increase since September 2018, thanks to cheaper vegetables and meat, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Friday.

The smaller annual food inflation, compared with the 0.8 percent annual increase in April 2024, was due to cheaper prices for fruit and vegetables, which was down 11.4 percent, as well as meat, poultry, and fish, which was down 1.2 percent, in the 12 months to May 2024, Stats NZ said.

Prices for meat, poultry, and fish recorded an annual decrease for the first time in over three years, driven by cheaper prices for lamb chops, legs of lamb, and chicken pieces, Stats NZ consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

In the 12 months to May 2024, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 4.8 percent, grocery food prices increased 1.3 percent, and non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 2.7 percent, Mitchell said.

"Eating out and ordering in are still taking the cake when it comes to the overall annual increase," he said, adding the fall in cheese prices was the largest contributor of any individual food item in the 12 months to May 2024.

New Zealand food prices fell 0.2 percent in May 2024 compared with April 2024, driven by lower prices for grocery foods such as yoghurt and potato crisps, following a 0.6 percent increase the previous month, Stats NZ said.

Fruit and vegetable prices also fell for the fourth consecutive month, driven by lower prices for mandarins, potatoes, and apples, it said, adding that May 2024 saw the largest number of food items falling in price in over three years.

Prices in New Zealand for both petrol and diesel were down in May 2024 compared with April 2024, falling 2.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, Mitchell said, adding motorists around the country enjoyed lower fuel prices in May, but they are still higher than in May 2023.

The removal of the transport temporary relief package partly contributed to the higher prices this year, he said, adding petrol prices are over 50 percent more expensive than four years ago, while diesel prices are over 80 percent more expensive.
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